Is Making Out On A First Date A Good Idea?

Updated September 19, 2023by Regain Editorial Team

First dates can be exciting. You get to learn more about a new person, find out how compatible you are, and hopefully have a bit of fun. You may even find that you’re so drawn to a potential partner that you’d like to have that all-important first kiss, which could turn into a make-out session. But is engaging in this kind of intimacy appropriate for a first date? While the decision of whether to make out with someone is entirely up to you, there are some considerations that may make kissing more or less appropriate. Below are some tips for deciding whether you should lock lips on a first date.

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Be Respectful Of The Other Person

The most important thing to keep in mind when determining whether a kiss is appropriate is that both you and your date should be consenting prior to any kind of physical contact. Asking your date if you can kiss them is the best way to ensure you aren’t crossing any boundaries. Prior to asking, though, you may pick up on signs (which we’ll discuss below) that they are or aren’t interested in a kiss. If your date is in any way uncomfortable with physical closeness, be respectful of their space. There are many ways of establishing a connection with someone that don’t involve making out. 

Is There A Rule?

Everyone seems to have their own dating rules, particularly those surrounding when physical intimacy is permissible. For example, some people say you shouldn't kiss on the first date, or if you do, it should be only a light kiss. Other people choose to go further with a date.

Ultimately, there are no hard and fast rules for dating. You're not going against established dating etiquette if you kiss, or don’t kiss, on a first date. It's perfectly acceptable to have that first date make-out session. Sometimes the chemistry and sexual attraction between two people is there right from the beginning. It's ok to act on it. You and a potential partner get to decide what you are comfortable with and how you want to approach the date.

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Signs That They’re Open To A Kiss

Kissing on a first date can be a delicate question as two people may have completely different expectations. 

If you’re interested in kissing your date, knowing whether they’re also open to it is important. The following are some signs that a potential partner is interested in a kiss.  

Body Language

You can often tell whether someone is interested in becoming closer physically by the way they position their body. Nonverbal cues like lingering eye contact, touching of the arms and hands, leaning in closer to the other person, and smiling at moments when the conversation may lull all can point to interest in a kiss. They may also attempt to draw your attention to their lips by licking them, touching them, or talking about them. Your date might also look at your lips frequently, which can signal that they’d like to explore them more. 

If your date’s body language has been closed off, they may not be interested in getting closer physically. This can look like folded arms, legs that are crossed away from you, a lack of eye contact, or objects put intentionally between the two of you. While body language is not a guaranteed indicator of interest in physicality, it can help you determine whether they’ll be receptive to a kiss. 

Words Of Encouragement

If your date starts to talk about subjects like physical intimacy, who your first kiss was, etc., this can be a good sign that they’d like to share a kiss later and, possibly, engage in a make-out session. Of course, if they come out and say that they’d like to kiss, that will be the clearest indicator of their intentions. This kind of communication can be healthy, ensuring you’re both consenting and interested in becoming closer.  

Breaking The Touch Barrier

Respectfully touching your date’s hand or shoulder can be a good way of moving toward a slightly more intimate form of interaction. If you don’t initiate it, try to notice whether they have broken the touch barrier with you. Have they put their head on your shoulder, made an excuse to touch your face, or even jokingly nudged you? These can signal their intention to take things a bit further later. 

Again, you should only break the touch barrier if it’s clear your date is comfortable with this. If their body language is closed off or they haven’t shown any indication that they’d like to get closer, then physical touch, much less kissing, is likely off the table. 

Does This Mean We’re A Couple?

For some people, kissing another person can be a rite of passage into being an official couple with them. However, it doesn’t have to be that way. Kissing can just be a fun way of interacting with your date. 

It can help to be upfront about your expectations. Speaking up before something happens can help you avoid hurt feelings. For example, if kissing is something you only want to do in a committed relationship, consider letting the other person know this. It can be better to have a bit of an awkward conversation than to put yourself in a position where either you or your partner feels uncomfortable. 

An excellent first date that leads to a make-out session can quickly turn into more dates. Kissing, according to research, can help you determine whether a potential partner is right for you—and allow you to foster a closer connection with them if you decide they are. Although it isn’t a necessary component of a first date, it can be a gateway to a long and healthy relationship.

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When To Kiss On A First Date

As with most dating etiquette, there is no rule about when to initiate a kiss on a first date. Maybe it is at the end of the date with a kiss goodnight. Maybe it's in the middle of the date when you both feel that attraction and chemistry spark. In fact, getting the first kiss out of the way earlier on can help you both feel more comfortable the rest of the date. 

Making out on a first date can be a way to continue the fun of the date, letting sexual chemistry lead the way. Again, there's nothing wrong with this. If both parties consent and are into it, go with the flow. Remember, you make the rules for how you date.

Fostering Intimacy With Online Therapy

Studies show that online therapy can help couples navigate the physical aspects of a relationship. For example, in a follow-up on a study of 151 couples, participants reported that positive relationship quality—which, according to researchers, includes sex—increased significantly, even 12 months after an online therapy program was completed. Additionally, the study mentions the improvements in individual mental health participants experienced, including decreases in anxiety and depression, and increases in overall quality of life. 

Online therapy can help you better understand how to introduce a physical component into your dating life in a healthy manner. With an online therapy platform like Regain, you’ll be matched with one of thousands of mental health professionals—who have a variety of specialties—based on your needs and preferences. So, you’ll have a good chance of working with someone who can help you understand your relationship to intimacy. You can also reach out to your therapist outside of sessions; so, if you have a question about dating, sex, or similar subjects, you can send them a message, and they’ll respond when they’re able. A mental health professional can help you set expectations and develop a healthy romantic relationship. Read below for reviews of Regain therapists from those who have sought help for similar concerns. 

Therapist Reviews

“Austa has been wonderful thus far. She has helped my partner and I during an unimaginably difficult time... She has also guided us in communicating effectively and setting appropriate boundaries in our relationship. I was hesitant to pursue counseling at the beginning, but I truly believe that it is making a difference for our relationship. Austa is easy to talk to and she is a great listener. I would wholeheartedly recommend her as a counselor.”

“Sessions with Natalie are very insightful and give practical advice on implementing new habits and changes. Be prepared to engage and be challenged to think in a different way. I know that my partner and I can already see improvements in our relationship and feel more positive about working through our issues together.”

Takeaway

Ultimately, whether you kiss on a first date is up to you and your potential partner. As long as you’re both comfortable with it, making out can be a great way to become closer to your date. If you’d like to learn more about intimacy while dating and similar topics, know that support is available. With the right help, you can maintain a healthy and satisfying dating life. 

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